Employers often receive hundreds of applications for one job. Your resume may be judged in less than a minute as they scan your resume to determine if you are suitable to interview.
Poor layout, content or format can send your resume directly to the 'reject' pile.
Help the employer easily scan your resume:
- No more than 3 typed, A4 pages
- Allow for medium margins and 'white space' so text doesn't look crowded
- Group similar information under meaningful headings
- Sections that strongly show your suitability, should appear on the first page of your resume
A good layout improves scanning:
- Headings: use a larger size font or bold to make them stand out
- Sub-headings: order the information consistently. e.g. dates, your position, company name
- Bullet points: use one style or symbol throughout
Help the employer understand that you match their requirements:
- Focus on the areas of your education, experience or skills that are most relevant to the position
- Avoid general statements about skills. Include examples of the specific areas the employer values, such as how and when you have used a required skill before.
- Keep statements clear, simple and easy to read
- Put key information toward the start of statements
- Tailor each resume to the job you are applying for.
Your resume must look smart and professional. Some guidelines to help you:
- Use one font throughout
- Font size: usually no smaller than 10 point, no larger than 12 point (your name at the top can be larger)
Stand out for the right reasons (your suitability for the job!). Unless you are applying to be a Graphic Designer, avoid:
- fancy fonts and borders
- images or photos
- coloured text
- combining italics, bold and underlining